Explainer: What was with that weird Oscar ending?

The 93rd annual Academy Awards were always going to be a bit surreal this year.

The pandemic changed many of the usual rhythms and traditions of the Oscars on Sunday night. There was a glamour-filled red carpet but no onlookers or teams of publicists. There were in-person, mask-less winners but not in the usual order, and the speeches were never drowned out with play-off music.

Compounding the differences this year was a telecast, steered by producers Steven Soderbergh, Jesse Collins and Stacy Sher, that wanted a new look and feel to an often stodgy, persistently unchanging ceremony.